100 Days of Horror welcomes you to ... SATANFEST 2013

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"Y'all know me, know how I earn a livin'. I'll catch this bird for you, but it ain't gonna be easy. Bad fish! Not like going down to the pond and chasing bluegills and tommycods. This shark, swallow ya whole. Little shakin', little tenderizin', and down you go. And we gotta do it quick, that'll bring back the tourists, that'll put all your businesses on a payin' basis. But it's not gonna be pleasant! I value my neck a lot more than three thousand bucks, chief. I'll find him for three, but I'll catch him, and kill him, for ten. But you've gotta make up your minds. If you want to stay alive, then ante up. If you want to play it cheap, be on welfare the whole winter. I don't want no volunteers, I don't want no mates, there's too many captains on this island. Ten thousand dollars for me by myself. For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing."

Thursday, September 2, 2010

100 Days of Horror Day Forty-One - "The Rocky Horror Picture Show!"


Greetings from the grave and beyond.

Today was a complete and total washout from a work perspective. I fucking hate these one-day holidays that fuck up my whole week. While the rest of you are sitting there in antici ... pation for the four-day-weekend extravaganza, I am busting my ass trying to talk with people who simply are not around. So fuck me running.

Here's another late entry in today's movie selection, and as I am sitting here I am wondering why this movie is on this list? I have no idea why. Just because it says "Horror" in the title doesn't mean a damn thing. Check The Skinny below and follow along.

Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975): Starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Peter Hinwood, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell, Meat Loaf and Charles Grey.

The Skinny: I think most people have either seen or at best have knowledge of this film, but just in case: When their car breaks down on a desolate road, young lovers Brad and Janet find themselves at the mercy of a mad scientist who is about to unveil his greatest creation - a sexy man to have all his own. And that's the scaled down version.

What's Good: Again, I am not sure why this is on the list, other than the fact that it is a parody of both B-Movie horror and sci-fi films. I mean, don't get me wrong - I LOVE this movie to death. Tim Curry plays the role of his lifetime, brought to screen from the stage where he originated the part. The man lives and breathes sensuality as Frank N. Furter and has never had a part like it since. But there's nothing actually horrific about the movie - it's more that the film follows some of the horror movie precepts and embellishes them with comedy and music. The tropes are all there - the dark and stormy night, the mad doctor, the hunchbacked servant, and of course the humble creature itself. They even evoke the atmosphere of the Hammer Horror Films I love so much (even reusing some of the sets). But rather than attempting to horrify us, director and creator Richard O'Brien urges us to give ourselves over to "absolute pleasure," as Frank loses the original intention of coming to Earth from the planet Transexual. He instead becomes obsessed with pleasure and suffers as a result. But we don't suffer, no sir. We dance the Time Warp right along with him.

What's Bad: It's a musical which instantly puts a lot of people off. Plus, its themes of sex drugs and rock n roll may be off-putting to those with a puritanical outlook. And if you're looking for high-dollar production values and Michael Bay-inspired cinematography, look elsewhere. This is the very definition of low budget - the costumes for the entire cast (those which weren't recycled from the stage show) cost around $1,600.

Why We Like It: I'd always heard about the movie growing up, but as we lived in the sticks there was no learning about things that we couldn't look up at the library. This was well before the creation of your fancy Interwebs. So when it was finally released on VHS, I rented it - again and again and again. It struck a chord in me that has reverberated through my entire life. When Tim Curry rips open the cape and struts down the stairs singing "Sweet Transvestite," I was filled with utter joy from step one. Hooked. In love. It's a celebration of many things I hold dear, including extravagance for the sake of it. It isn't for every taste, but if you give yourself over to its absolute pleasure, you may be surprised at how deeply it affects you.

Memorable Stuff: It's packed with things that will stand out and you'll carry with you forever. But my favorite part is the cycle of songs from "Rose Tint My World" to the end. Because while the rest of the film was a romp, as it turns dark in the final third, the actors ACTUALLY begin to emote. And Curry breaks my heart every time he sings "Going Home." It's a classic, folks. A one of a kind that will never ever be repeated. Catch it while you can.